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Aero Application Testing

/ Press Releases

End-to-End Testing of Satcom-based Applications in Aircrafts

In the near future, we expect to see existing cockpit applications and new cockpit applications to rely on always-on connectivity via satellite. Introduction of any new process into the cockpit operation must be thoroughly tested to ensure adherence to the highest standards and safety protocols. However, while standards and guidelines set the overall safety requirements for software such as satellite enabled cockpit applications, it does not provide methodologies or any one way of attaining the desired requirements. So why should you, and how do you go about performing end-to-end testing of satcom-based applications in aircrafts?

Currently, the vast majority of cockpits are reliant on static information. Flights are planned prior to take-off and all needed information such as route plan, travel time and weather forecasts are brought into the cockpit before take-off. With satcom enabled connectivity such information will be online available including changes and updated information from both ground and aircraft side. For example, updated weather forecasts can lead to changed travel routes. From ground it will be possible to have a 4D representation of aircrafts – longitude, latitude, hight and time.

However, introduction of inflight cockpit connectivity is no trivial process. A satellite link is characterized by latency, fading and other impairments. And on top of that it is not possible to control or even reproduce a satellite connection by use of a real link (on-air) in the test setup.

Svend H. Sørensen, Product Manager June 10, 2020 IN / Press Releases